It’s all fun and games

06/10/2009

Like the title says, it’s all fun and games around here. It’s what we do – using game play to engage and motivate. Engage audiences and communities by capturing their imagination and sparking their passions, and motivating them to act, connect, purchase, learn. People want to be engaged and entertained, in fact they demand it. If you’ve got an audience you want to connect with, you better be fun and engaging, because in a seven-billion-channel universe you’re easy to ignore. Provide something they can own, and grow, and share, and you’ve got an opportunity to build something huge. Don’t believe me? Here’s an interesting chart, showing engagement over time for classes of iPhone applications. Games are the runaway winner, with nearly twice the time spent as sports, entertainment, or lifestyle applications.

It goes far beyond the iPhone, too. Facebook has over 50 million gamers logging in at least once per month, and MySpace, Hi5, and Bebo are hot on their heels. All this activity, and we haven’t yet mentioned a single “gaming platform”. These are all average people, and the demographics are attention-getting. Of all the casual gamers that pay, 74% were women, and 72% were over 35, according to the Casual Games Association. …and they do pay: casual games were a $2.25B industry in 2007. Casual gaming has replaced magazines, TV, and Radio in many people’s lives, with the busiest playing times just after dinner (from home) and over the lunch hour (at work).

Heady stuff. Gaming has made its way into the mainstream, and as a result, it’s changing. We look out into the future and we see game play as an increasingly important element in the design of all kinds of systems from enterprise CRM to electricity meters, encouraging exploration, communication, improving engagement and increasing the fun across the board. That’s a great thing to be part of.